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Monday, August 30, 2010

My first EVENT!!

Please join me and my friend, Rosemary Gulledge, for lunch.

I know you've followed her online. In fact, I know she's introduced many of you to my West Point store through her blog. Now, let me introduce you to Rosemary, live and in person. 
Rosemary's going to share what she's been doing in applique design. And I'm going to demo some new Brother productsincluding the brand new PR1000 ... coming out just in time for your letters to Santa!
Don't wait to reserve your place at the table ... seating's limited. See the registration details below.

Looking forward to welcoming you to West Point and introducing you to Rosemary and some exciting new products to kick off your homemade holiday season.
Steve Tramell

Saturday, October 9th
West Point, GA 
$35/person, lunch included

Seating is limited ~

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Applique Names

OK... I'm going to try to demonstrate how I did the "wilson" applique in the 5x7 hoop. I, of course, use Sew What Pro (Sands Computing). Here is my first screen and I've already opened the "w", then merged in the "i, l, s, o, n". As you can see they are all in a pile! You may also notice the thread chart on the right ~ it has marking, tackdown, satin for each letter and for this font (EB Chunky), all of the marking is the same color thread (blue), tackdown is same color (green) and satin is same color (red) - this is KEY in making this an easy design (if you're using 1 fabric) b/c I can join the marking stitches to all stitch at one time, tackdown, satin same ~ 3 steps instead of 18. BTW this is the 1.75" size in this font. Planet Applique has a 1.5" font and MAY have a small font too. Next...
I clicked and dragged each letter around my screen so that I could arrange them. On the right you'll notice the whole alphabet is shown. If you click View up top, then select "album icons", it will show the alphabet file on the right and you can just click each letter and it'll move it to the screen (instead of merge, merge merge). The only thing is that sometimes I can't get it to go back to the thread chart screen!? Sometimes I MERGE, and sometimes I use the view album icons method. Both take about the same amount of time I think.
As you can see here, I've arranged each letter and lined them up on the horizontal center line. 
THEN, I press the CENTER (red cross looking button) to center the entire name on the hoop. As you can see, this is my 5x7 hoop and the name is TOO BIG!
Next I decided to JOIN THREADS so that the design would stitch ALL of the marking w-i-l-s-o-n, I put my fabric down, then it will stitch ALL of the tackdown w-i-l-s-o-n, I trim it all at once and then satin for all (I was using 1 fabric for the name). I join threads under EDIT, join threads. This only works for alphabets where the marking, tackdown and satin are all the same colors. So for this name I would click EDIT, Join Threads, then "Join threads of same color starting at thread # "1". This will join all of the marking stitches because EB made them all the same color (blue). Then I will do the same thing with thread # "2", and this will join all of the tackdown stitches in to one step (green). Then thread #3 and this will join all of the satin stitches (red). THIS DOES NOT WORK FOR ALL ALPHABETS - if the marking, tackdown & satin stitches are not all the same this will not work! When you are done joining threads, the name will become ALL 1 DESIGN instead of each letter being a file. You see below the box is around the whole name whereas before, there was a box around each letter so each could be moved and arranged!

If you can see my cursor arrow on the horizontal center line on the right end, if you click on that point, you can then DRAG the design to the left or right. 
I'm going to drag the right side of the design to the left so that it will fit in the hoop.
As you can see on the right, I dragged the design to fit in the hoop on the right side. It's still too big on the left side, so I'm going to DRAG on the left side too to push the "w" in to the hoop.
Now you can see "wilson" fits in the hoop and is centered. 
You will also notice on the right, my thread chart shows 3 steps for this name! That's because I joined the marking stitches together, tackdown & satin. Again, only do this if you plan to use 1 fabric for your name. BTW I had to save the design, close out SWP and reopen it. Sometimes I can't get back to the thread chart after I use the View Album Icons method.
So this is showing me my marking stitch. It will sew the whole name, then I can place my fabric down and it will tack down the whole name. I will trim all at once, and then it'll do satin all at once!
Finished shirt below! 

OF COURSE, if you want to use different fabrics, then DON'T JOIN THE THREADS! In that case you would need to save the design after it's arranged and centered. It would be 18 steps because you didn't join threads, but it would save the design as 1 design (not boxes around each letter). You'd need to close and open the new file and then you can drag the boxes to make it fit!

You can also just adjust the design in SWP with the RESIZE feature, but for things like this and sometimes I use the DRAG method on patches that I need to stretch out just a little, it works fine! I don't know that I would drag a design TOO MUCH - not sure if the density would be correct. For little adjustments it works great for me!

Hopefully this makes sense?? Both of the names above were done in my 5x7 hoop. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Work Work Work!

Here are some pictures of a few things I've done this week. 
First the AC tennis racket (found HERE) done to match the cute pants in the picture! 
Next, my friend wanted to do a shirt similar to the Kelly's Kids airplane tee so I came up with the below. The photo quality isn't that great on my airplane patch - it's really cute and the lime is brighter in person! The airplane came from SWAK. I use this airplane A LOT! I think I've done it 3 times in the past week. It does come with some stuff coming out the back which I delete.
Lastly, I did these name tees. Wilson is from EB ~ HERE. I did merge it all together and shrunk it down to 7" for my 5x7 hoop. Addison is from Applique Momma ~ HERE. Again, I had to shrink it to make it fit my 5x7 hoop. My mega hoop is TOO big for these tees.
My work tally is now at 35!! I have been rocking and rolling this week (with a little help from my friend ~ CAFFEINE). I leave Friday for a girls weekend so I may work another day or two this week, several days next week and will take the very long Labor Day weekend off! If I get all 35 done before then I will be very pleased. But, if I don't, it's no big deal! I'm amazed that I'm down to only 35 items, especially for this time of year. Several of the things I lack are corduroy and or Christmas items, so no biggie if those have to wait a couple of weeks. Back to work...

Comments: the shirts I did for the names are a Rabbit Skins 4 (wilson) and the Addison tee is like a small 5/6??). The ringer tee is the Kellys Kids design, so it's their tee. I was just showing how to do something similar. I will try to do a post on Sew What Pro and how I adjust the names to fit my 5x7 hoop!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Raggy Designs

I posted this on Facebook today - the new SCARECROW design has raggy hair. I trim around the "redwork" stitch (stitch used for these type designs) leaving about 1/8" - you can leave as little or as much as you'd like! I also used a layer of white flannel underneath the yellow gingham. You can use white, a color flannel, 2 layers of fabric or nothing at all!
As you can see here I cut in between each hair chunk and scraped the edges with my small embroidery scissors.
I use a lint brush to pick up all of the loose thread and here is the finished product!
I had this crochet applique from in my drawer and thought it was cute on the scarecrow!
I have been slaving away since early this morning. I've appliqued 10 shirts with 1 more to go before I call it a day! My back is killing me and my house is a WRECK, but I'm down to 43 items!!!!!!!!!! That really seems do-able (before Labor Day), although I'm going out of town this weekend and next and also need to spend 1/2 day on the consignment sale coming up. So, whether or not I complete all 43 items by Labor Day remains to be seen! 5 new designs will be listed later tonight ~!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Number!

I worked most of the day yesterday and quite a bit this afternoon (after not working Friday) and my current count is 57 things "to-do"! I seemed to have hovered around 65 for a while there ~ I'd knock 2 things out and 2 more would come in. Today the # is 57 and my GOAL is to get everything done if at all possible in the next 2 weeks! We'll see if it happens. 

A few new AC designs coming in the next couple of days. We also did a dolphin and hope to do 1 or 2 more seasonal designs before we add these. I'm loving working with CORDS! Back to work for a bit to try to knock out a couple more shirts....

MONDAY UPDATE: I'm already down to 49!! 2 of my oldest orders will be shipped today to Atlanta and North Carolina. I have a hand full of short sleeve tees to do for people and plan to work on those NEXT! Realistically I don't know that I can get all 49 done before Labor Day but will do my best! Thanks!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My new favorites!

Here are a couple of new Applique Cafe designs we will be adding today or tomorrow. I really like the OWL! The brown fabric is Riley Blake WHEELS by My Mind's Eye - love the colors! Good feedback on Facebook for this one!
There's a close tie with the OWL and these PAPER DOLLS (as my favorites)! Browder was cutting paper snowflakes yesterday (which might be next) so I thought of paper dolls!
I also thought this would be a cute big or little sister design, so I showed it with "big sister" too!
This week I'm averaging around 4-6 shirts/items a day, and that's with my youngest 2 being out of school and home with me (fighting and getting in to everything ~ Mallory is playing in the sink as I type!). I THINK I have 64 total items to do as of today, so I hope to be working with 2-3 weeks "out" on new orders. Some of the stuff I have is short sleeves so I'm going to try to get to it first. Luckily a lot of it is long sleeves and where I live it's still 94 degrees, so I will get to that stuff asap too! Had I not sewn my finger I would be a little further ahead. My oldest order is from 7/13 and she requested she get them by mid-September (which will be here soon!). The rest is 7/29 and after so I'm not TOO far behind! I'm so thankful for everyone's patience! I hate to have delays and excuses and crazy things happening all the time to delay me, but such is life with 3 kids (oh, and a husband ~ just kidding Jeff). I also have to take a day off soon to get my fall consignment stuff ready and have 2 trips planned in the next few weeks! One more shirt to do today and I'm off to cook dinner!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Layering Fabrics in an Applique

I have gotten to where lately when I'm layering fabrics in an applique, I cut out the bottom fabric after the tackdown stitch for the 2nd fabric so that the 1st fabric does not show through the 2nd fabric. Did I lose you already?? Here is an example and I will have to do this again because of the hole in the megaphone - I did have to add some blue gingham back to the hole before I finished the design. Here is the (coming soon) MEGAPHONE SQUARE PATCH. As you can see the patch part is DONE (steps 1, 2 and 3) and now it's time for the megaphone. Step 4 of the design is the MARKING stitch of the megaphone (shown in orange ~ you can barely see the stitching).
At an angle I poke a hole in the middle (at an angle is key so that you don't cut through the shirt). You can see here I trimmed away the blue gingham fabric inside of the marking stitch in preparation for the polka dot fabric. Had I not done this, you may have been able to see the gingham through the polka dots!
Next I lay my polka dot fabric down and it did step 5, which is the TACKDOWN STITCH for the megaphone. I trim around the tackdown stitch as usual, even inside the hole of the megaphone. This is where my "example" sort of messes me up, because I had to go back and add some blue gingham fabric in that hole before I finished the design. I'll try to show a better example next time!
Here is the finished patch. Again, had I not cut the blue gingham away you may have seem some gingham through the dot fabric. Not a huge deal, but it's an easy fix to layering fabrics!
And here I added a # to the design just for idea purposes. 
Don't ask me where I got #27? I was trying to think High School football rather than College! These 2 designs will be available very soon at!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Friday the 13th (cue scary music)

Last week Browder started 1st grade (on Wed.) and Jeff also met my mom Wed. morning so she could get/keep Mal & G for the rest of the week so that I could accomplish things, sew, organize, etc. All was great until Fri. morning (Friday the 13th I might add). I took B to school and grabbed a Starbucks on my way home. I turned some music on and was sewing away! Starbucks + good music = get stuff done. 2 shirts down and on my 3rd, I had a little accident! It was a new design I had just bought that morning so I wasn't familiar with it. Anyway, you have to place fabric down and if you know which needle (out of 6) that is stitching, it is no problem. On this particular design it was sewing on needle 3 and it had a jump stitch in it so needle 4 came down... ON MY FINGER! It happened pretty fast and the next thing I saw was a broken needle left in the machine. This was at about 10:30 Fri morning. It hurt, but I think I was in shock! I immediately got on my Applique Cafe Facebook page and asked "HELP! blah blah blah needle in my finger, what do I do?". I also called Jeff and told him that I had just sewn my finger. I ran some water over it, maybe almost fainted? Jeff was on his way home and had talked to our Dr.'s nurse by the time he got home. We immediately loaded up and went to see my Dr. who's office is luckily about a mile from our house. This was around 11. They took me right back (surprisingly), he looked at it, they did an X-Ray immediately and after a couple of consultations with another Dr. in the group, he told me he basically would not touch this with a 10-foot pole! You know it's bad when you have 2 doctors in the room and they say "let us go talk again". They gave me a tetanus shot (which is still hurting 3 days later) and said they would call with further instruction when they heard back from the Orthopedic they had called. We left there at about 12:10 and Jeff took me home so I could go do carpool and he was supposed to play in a golf tournament at Wynlakes at 1:00. I couldn't miss carpool over a little needle, right?

Here is a picture - it does not look bad! The needle basically went in my fingernail and broke off. It didn't come through the other side, so it was just lodged in my finger underneath the nail bed!
After I picked up carpool my Dr. called and told me to go to the Jackson ER and the ortho Dr. was there and he would check it out. So I finished carpool, got me & B some lunch and dropped him off at a friend's house so he would not have to have the ER experience. Got to the ER and had to "check in" and sit with the lady who said she had a blood clot in her leg and the lady who thought she was having a miscarriage and was threatening to sue the hospital if she lost her baby. BTW I was taken back a good hour BEFORE blood clot lady!? I had told Jeff to go on and play golf and I would call him when I knew something and he could meet me if need be. Triage called me back, then back in the waiting room I went. Long story short, they called me back again, the baffled Physicians Assistant said she couldn't do anything and that I would have to wait on Dr. Hartzog (the ortho). By this time it was like 4:00. He later came in and informed me that he had looked at the X-ray and that they would be performing surgery on my finger to remove the needle. IV Sedation was mentioned and next thing I know another nurse is in there taking blood, armed with a hospital gown and the Anesthesiologist is asking me lots of questions because I had eaten a McDonalds Happy Meal at 1:00! When he started talking about being put to sleep and what happens if you throw up, I got a little freaked out! I called Jeff and told him "it was time"!! By the time he got down there I was in a hospital gown and shortly thereafter they put me on a gurney heading to pre-op! We passed 2 policemen with a guy in handcuffs (Friday night in the ER?). We sat in Pre-op for a WHILE, hence the pictures and Facebook posts. I finally got an IV in my arm and Dr. Hartzog initialed my finger so as to not cut on the wrong one!
I won't go in to the other interesting fellows in pre-op! Basically at about 7:00 they wheeled me in to the operating room and the last thing I remember is them moving me over to the operating room bed. I woke up in post-op at about 9:00 and was groggy and waking up until about 10. They brought Jeff back and got me dressed and he picked me up in the wheelchair in front of the hospital. I did throw up on the way home but slept good Fri night and was fine Saturday morning! Here is a picture Jeff took of me waiting...

Here is the finger Saturday morning. I think they used a whole roll of gauze. I took this off and am now down to just a bandaid on a stitch or 2 in my middle finger.

Needless to say, I had a very traumatic weekend!! One minute I'm sewing away and the next minute I sew my finger. Several hours later I am put to sleep with a tube down my throat in an operating room. I did finish the shirt I was working on when this happened, but other than that I have not turned my machine on. Mal & G came back yesterday so it's back to reality with 3 kids and I can hopefully get back to work this week! 

I read SO MANY comments on Facebook and it is amazing that this happens all the time to people who sew! Most people said they were able to "work the needle out". I hope this never happens again! I know I'm going to be cautious for a WHILE! Back to work (and REALITY - Mallory is awake!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Machine!!

Saturday I went back over to West Point ( and traded in the PR600 I got earlier this year and also my PE750D that I haven't used since I got the 6 needle. They graciously allowed me to trade them in even though I just got the used 600 not too long ago... for a BRAND NEW PR650! In hindsight I probably should have started out with this to begin with, but anyway it is FABULOUS! It's shiny and beautiful (I've said that 20 times now). The machine is pretty much the same as the 600 ~ the computer part is a little different and all touch screen. It sews like a dream! I had so many people on Facebook ask about the 650 ~ if you are ever so slightly interested call Steve and he can give you a price! I have to say it is worth every dime!
The touch screen - it even comes with a diamond font I'm anxious to try out.
This is a dream machine! I know most of us start out on a little one, but this is what it's all about! It is really worth it if embroidery is your passion like it is mine!
On to other things, we ARE going to offer the Football HelmetS design for those of you who don't have the capability to put 2 together! This is great for a divided house, or for that big game! I did this on a 4T Rabbit Skins long sleeve tee as a sample and plan to sell it! We are not a divided house! :)

Browder started 1st grade today so this week has been a little crazy trying to get everything ready! He was so excited this morning! I also sent the little ones to granmommies for the rest of the week so I could get some things done around the house, get A LOT of work done, and give them some time on the farm since they are out of school until after Labor Day! SOOOO... I have a Starbucks in hand right now and am sewing away until I have to pick up B at 12:30! I will be sewing all afternoon to try to put a dent in my 65++ items! We also have a few new AC designs coming out this week. It has been slow since the sale ended, which is a good thing. Back to work! Here is a peek at 2 of the new designs. I LOVE the snowman and can't wait to sample it today! The twins baby carriage is one we did before the sale and I will sample it today also!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Getting Organized!

First of all, my oldest child who will enter 1st grade next week lost his very first tooth last night! We realized it was VERY loose yesterday while at the pool, and for the next 8 hours B worried and asked questions and wiggled and followed me around and we watched You Tube videos on pulling teeth and tried tying a string around it and he worried some more and .... 

finally at 8:00 last night I threw the kids in the car (Mallory literally had a diaper on and that was it) and we drove over to our good friend's house who happens to be our dentist! A few tugs and a good yank with the pliers it came out! The cutest part was Browder writing the tooth fairy a very nice note requesting $10 for his first tooth!
So glad that is over - thank you again Dr. Matt!! Hopefully the next one will be less traumatic!

A customer sent me this idea for football games and opposing teams:
I put it together with Sew What Pro (2 AC 4x4 football helmets shrunk down 10% each and a little rotating and flipping). This is the 5x7 hoop. We might offer this design!?

We did this twin baby carriage last week too, but simply ran out of time sampling and listing so we will offer it with our next batch which will be sometime next week!

I have loaded up my PR600 in my car and also my PE750D (which has been collecting dust since I got the 600). Mallory & I are heading over to West Point in the morning to trade in for a NEW MACHINE! I'm very excited! - my favorite sewing store!!! I posted a few pics last week on Facebook of a few of my fave things I've gotten from (thread, stabilizers, my machine, etc.) - on their fan page! Some of you might be asking why I am trading in (already) for a new machine? I have had several issues with the used one lately and they are graciously allowing me to trade in for a new one and pay the difference! I guess I should have done new in the first place as much as I use it!

I just got semi-organized and my current tally has quickly grown to 65 items! Most are long sleeves and/or fall, so I don't feel too panicked just yet! With all that being said, I have decided that I physically and mentally and emotionally cannot take every monogramming order that comes across my e-mail, telephone or face to face at Target! SOOOOO...... as I get e-mails from people about dropping off and ordering, etc., I am really going to have to take in to consideration if it is a friend, a past customer, an excellent customer or someone I just don't know! Depending on how busy I am, I am going to HAVE to turn people away! It's nothing personal ~ thanks for understanding! There are plenty of people on my blog list who are ready and willing to take your orders!! Specifically KK's Kreations and Get Personalized who have told me they are wanting more business!

It's 8:44 and I am going to bed! Browder & I spent the day at Surfside Water Park today - need I say more! POOPED!

Monday, August 2, 2010

New Designs!

Here are 6 new designs that will be added to Applique Cafe tonight! I LOVE the tractor patch and did it on a tee for Garrison! It took me forever to pick out which fabrics I wanted to use, but I like how it turned out! I love working with corduroy!
First we had the Dog, then the Santa Dog, and now the Christmas Dog!
Megaphone with Pom Poms - I used a layer of flannel underneath each layer of pom pom fabric. Of course the AU is not included (for all of you Bama or other fans!) I like just the megaphone by itself too ~ I forgot to take a picture of it before the pom poms!
Tree Trio ~ we were going to do an ornament trio as well but a couple of other applique websites did them, so we'll hold off on that til later! Again, it took me forever to decide on fabric ~ I think I have TOO MUCH to chose from!
Football Patch Divided ~ this was suggested last year, but we never got around to it!
And lastly, a Baby Carriage ~ we did this for someone who is working on a baby quilt to match an old antique baby quilt. The one we did for her had very dainty redwork wheels and a handle. We also have this design with TWINS in the buggy, but I may not get to it until later!

I posted some photos today on the SewingMachine.Com Facebook Page of a few things I've gotten from them. Their fan base is growing! If you sew, you need to become a fan! I'm a frequent visitor of their West Point store, and look forward to visiting the Atlanta store next month!